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Exploring the Trade-Offs between Plastic Packaging and Food Waste: Household Simulation Modelling for Chicken Fillets in the UK

Torrejon, V. M. ORCID: 0000-0003-1367-2853, Pickering, J., Kandemir, C. , Fayad, R., Koh, L. S. C., Greenwood, S., Beswick-Parsons, R., Fisher, L. H. C., Rees, D., Quested, T. & Reynolds, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-1073-7394 Exploring the Trade-Offs between Plastic Packaging and Food Waste: Household Simulation Modelling for Chicken Fillets in the UK. Taylor and Francis Group.


This study presents the new Household Simulation Model (HHSM), which uses Discrete Event Simulation (DES) to estimate the impact of different packaging and household behavior interventions on domestic food and packaging waste generation. Empirical testing of such interventions at scale is impractical, making it difficult to provide quantitative evidence of their comparative impact to policymakers and the supply chain. The HHSM model explores various household scenarios and archetypes, including pack sizes, shelf portioning behaviors, and storage-- life extensions, checking options, to provide insights for decisionmakers. The results show that packaging innovations that extend shelf life could decrease domestic chicken waste by 59%. Increasing storage checking to 100% could decrease chicken waste by 29%, but it may also increase packaging waste by 4.5%. Furthermore, a negative correlation between chicken and packaging waste emphasises the significance of pack size related interventions, which should be implemented along with sustainable packaging systems. Overall, the HHSM model provides a powerful tool for evaluating different interventions and comparing their impacts on waste generation. In addition, it offers valuable insights into the effects of various household behaviors and packaging innovations on waste reduction, helping prioritise interventions that minimize waste while minimising trade-offs between food and packaging waste.

Publication Type: Other (Preprint)
Additional Information: This is an original manuscript of an article to be published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Production Research, available at:
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management > Food Policy
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
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